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Ningen-Isu - Ningen Shikkaku CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.52 | 6 ratings

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3 stars (From PA blog "Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX")

After weird and psychedelic air with sounds like an animal crying or being squeezed blowin' and twistin' around us, steady and heavy riffs by guitars and drums should come here.

A Japanese heavy rock outfit NINGEN-ISU was formed in 1987 by Shinji Wajima (guitar, voices) and Ken'ichi Suzuki (bass, voices). In 1989 they appeared as a bizarre project on a TV program introducing new bands and could knock all judges and audience out with their terrific technique. As a basis shoving heavy and progressive rock style influenced by KING CRIMSON, BLACK SABBATH or BUDGIE, they have released 14 studio albums since 1990. Their tune and lyrics are characterized by Shinji's grounding in Japanese literature or Buddhism and Ken'ichi's curiosity about doom or spiritism - the eerie and esoteric flavour gains them popularity among maniacs.

The heavy riffs can remind us the sound wall by King Crimson, Uriah Heep or Rush - pioneers in heavy prog scene. From the first track 'Tetsugoshi No Mokushiroku (The Apocalypse of Prison)' we can feel only two of their faces. Hey folks, a bizarre show with serious plays now gets started! 'Hari No Yama (A heap of needles)' is - you bet - just Budgie's Breadfan with their Japanese impressive arrangement. We can realize their respect for Budgie with this speedy and aggressive ensemble. Their lyrics are very funny (Gonna fall down from the heap of needles, with my body packed with massive fire and blood!) but plays and sounds are as serious and terrific as Budgie, in my opinion as a Japanese. ;-) For them writing lyrics should be really enjoyable we can feel. Next 'Ayakashi No Tsuzumi (Ayakashi playin' drums)' is exactly weird song - Ayakashi is an imaginary monster in the sea, that is appeared vividly by them. Listen and feel - like drumming in another world, heavy drum sounds with heavy bass ones and heavier voices go through our brain with weirdness of this monster. Ken'ichi's cult make this eerie song - tasted by his eerie voices and thick sounds. 'Ringo No Namida (Tears of an apple)' is an arrangement of a Japanese children's song, isn't it? Basically it's a song that an apple born on a countryside will go to a city by train for sale. The children's song is pleasant and expectable one but this version is very plaintive and tragic. I guess they should notify us the sadness of prostitutes... 'Sai No Kawara' - how shall I translate - may be from a Japanese tragic old tale. An orphan would try to find his/her parents with piling lots of stones up but the heap of stones should collapse down - this song is the repetition of his/her act. How sad! One of the most rhythmic and powerful love-rock song is 'Tengoku Ni Musubu Koi (Blooming love in the Heaven)'. Shinji's naive voices are very comfortable and make us lovely, however the lyrics are very severe - yea, "SEXUAL LOVE WITH A DEAD LOVER". Their drivin' the stream of this song is as if Robert Fripp least for me. 'Akuma No Temariuta (A devil with a ball in his hand)' is again a grotesque shot - 'bout murdered and entombed beautiful girls - the story is heavier and uglier than the sounds. But believe me, instead of the story, they can play so literarily and seriously with their heavy progressive style, and with their native language - Tsugaru-Japanese. And the highlight in this album - 'Ningen-shikkaku (Disqualified human life)' - is the most progressive, avantgarde, dramatic, and self-motivated song I wanna say. This is the literary one with full of Shinji's policy. Like a movie, there are lots of scenes and stages in this song. Life is changeable like autumn weather...? All of their faces this song has. On the contrary, the next 'Heavy-metal No Gyakushu (Revenge of heavy-metal)' should be, for us, an enjoyable song. 'Arnheim No Izumi (Spring in Arnheim)' is produced with Shinji's graceful three-minute guitar solo. The heavy and rumbling bomb, 'Sakura No Mori No Mankai No Sh'ta (Under full of cherry blossoms)', is very suitable for the last song of this work, in spite of this beautiful title. Exploded riffs can let us realize they should love heavy rock, death metal, and progressive rock. They can keep the eerie and solemn atmosphere around them till the last!

Wonderful eeeerriiee tales...recommended by eerie DamoXt7942.

DamoXt7942 | 3/5 |


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